This wonderful news comes to us from India.
Over the last 15 years, Joseph Sekar has seen a lot in life with a lot of ups and downs. However one thing about him has remained constant which is his daily routine of hosting his winged friends, the parakeets. Sekar is fondly known as the “Birdman of Chennai” and has become a local attraction for tourists who visit Chennai.
Sekar is an electrician and camera repairman and he feeds thousands of parakeets every single day. His terrace is one of the oldest in the city where he hosts up to 8,000 parakeets at a time!
The daily intake of food for the parakeets is about 75 kilos of rice and Sekar spends about 40% of his monthly income for purchasing rice for the parakeets.
It all began one day in 2004. Chennai had been hit by the deadliest tsunami in the world and even the birds were not spared. Sekar spotted 5 parakeets sitting in a corner of his terrace trying to eat rice.
Sekar recounts, “Keeping soaked rice and water for the sparrows is a family tradition. So after I moved to Chennai some three decade ago, I continued the practice. But this was the first time when I saw parakeets coming to my terrace regularly. That was the beginning of my tryst with the beautiful birds. I didn’t even realize when the numbers touched the thousands.”
Every single day at 4 AM Sekar walks to his terrace and spends about half an hour cleaning the place and setting up several wooden planks in a step like formation. Then he transfers the rice which is soaked to a gigantic container and takes about 5-6 rounds from the kitchen to the terrace to transfer the rice upstairs.
Then Sekar assembles small portions of the rice for each bird and aligns them neatly on the assembled planks. This takes him another half hour. He says that the portions help the birds to eat at their own pace without being heckled by the neighboring birds. Sekar follows the same routine in the evenings too!
Sekar’s shop is on the ground floor of the house, and he also mans his shop from which he derives his income. He sees to his customers up till 7PM and in between breaks he checks on his birds and cleans the terrace as well.
Such is the system that Sekar has that his house has become a must visit for tourists all over the world. Some tourists offer him money to feed the birds but he politely refuses saying that they are like his children and he would never take money to feed his kids.
Image source: Hindustan Times